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Which is safer to control a fever? Tylenol or Motrin?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
My son has the flu and I need to give him something for his fever. Which is safer, Tylenol or Ibuprofen/Motrin? He is 18 months...
post #2 of 15
They each have their issues.

Tylenol - dosing must be watched VERY closely.

Motrin - can cause stomach upset.

Motrin is better for pain- especially caused by swelling.

Tylenol is processed through the liver.

Motrin is processed through the kidneys.

[standard disclaimer that fevers don't need treatment in most cases - I think I remember that your child has some other issues that probably impact the "most cases" clause]

hope he feels better soon!

-Angela
post #3 of 15
Personally I do prefer tylenol, but try to use it as little as possible, and for myself/family, not for a fever.

Reading Angela's disclaimer makes me wonder, if you do need to control the fever, have you ever tried homeopathic remedies - my vial of Ferrum Phos. 6X says it is for use with fevers and inflammation.

Hope your son is feeling better soon.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks, yes I should've mentioned he has an Energy Metabolism Disorder and Epilepsy so we have to control the fever.

I haven't tried homeopathic remedies before with him but it might be something to look into.
post #5 of 15
We use both - situation dependant.
Motrin for pain with it without fever
Tylonal for Fever only no pain
Most often I use Motrin - it lasts longer so there is less swing in there conditon over the course of the day. The other thing with Motin is MOST of the time with my kids when they have fever they have pain - and when they have pain the refuse to eat or drink.
With my youngest we have to be very tight on the fever control because she has febrile siezures at anything over 103.5 rectal (102.5 tepral or axialary) and her fevers are often very stuborn. We give Motrin and tylonal alternal and overlapping - Motrin at say 8am Tylonal 7 hours later at 3 Motrin at 5pm tylonal at 12am Motrin at 3am
motrin starts to wear off after about 7 hours but you can only give 3 doses in 24 hours so in the wear off times we us the tylonal.
I know it's alot of drug in the kids system but I prefer that to the siezures as I'm sure you can relate.
post #6 of 15
My son had the flu for almost 2 weeks last year (he was 4). I don't worry about occasional acetaminophen or ibuprofen, but I was concerned about prolonged exposure.

I ended up not medicating the fever at all unless it was over about 102. When his fever needed to come down, our pediatrician recommended alternating the two drugs because they work differently and it decreased the chance of overdose for either one.

It also helped to apply cool, damp washcloths to his forehead and underarms. This alone has brought his temp down about a half a degree.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well his fever was 101 today and he had 2 grand mal seizures(assuming from the fever). I gave him Tylenol and I'll wake him up tonight and give him more. No side effect of Tylenol is worse than watching that.
post #8 of 15
If you need to be careful to keep the fever down our Dr told us that we could alternate motrin and tylenol to prevent one from wearing off before a new dose is possible. We were instructed dose tylenol and then motrin 2-3 hours later, alternating at that same interval. When you really need to stay on top of the illness this method really works.

Hope he feels better soon!
post #9 of 15


I agree- if you think the fever or the change in temp is causing the seizures, I would look at alternating the two to keep him as stable as possible.

Hope he feels better soon!

-Angela
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yes, I think Motrin would work better. Or at least alternating them.

I really hate having to give him meds every 4-6 hours but I just cannot risk letting his fever get high again. Even at just over 100 he started having seizures. I just hope that medicating him so much doesn't drag this illness on forever.
post #11 of 15
i've just been researching how to naturally boost liver function, since my dh takes way too much tylenol...

anyway, i learned that milk thistle has been used for centuries for supporting the liver, if you're worried about having to give these otc meds. perhaps there's an herb for supporting the kidneys, as well....

good luck and i hope he feels better soon!
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkfum View Post
i've just been researching how to naturally boost liver function, since my dh takes way too much tylenol...

anyway, i learned that milk thistle has been used for centuries for supporting the liver, if you're worried about having to give these otc meds. perhaps there's an herb for supporting the kidneys, as well....

good luck and i hope he feels better soon!
FYI for an adult man he should never take anymore than 4,000 mg of tylenol a day - at that point you get into hepatoxicity levels and he could have liver failure.
post #13 of 15
If your son is breast fed, you can boost his immune system by consuming herbs or vit C.

Astragalus (a herb) is a wonderful immune system enhancer that is rather safe. Although you may need to know that it stimulates the Th1 response. It does have a few drug issues: synergeistic with interferon and acyclovir and may inhibit cyclophosphamide. Atragalus does protect the liver from a variety of liver toxins.

Andrographis (another herb) is also an immune system enhancer that actively protects the liver from many icky chemicals. It is not to be used by those with gall bladder issues - and it has a bitter taste - and there can be a few side effects - if interested google it.

Ginger maybe beneficial - especially if you like it too. In the book, Herbal Antibiotics by Stephen Buhner, he says that ginger stimulates sweating which helps lower fevers.

(btw, my herbal information is coming from Stephen Buhner's books)

Hope your son is doing better today!

and btw, if your son isn't breastfed, I would think that the astragalus (which has a pleasant, kinda sweet taste) could be hidden in a smoothie.
post #14 of 15
We use motrin more----it lasts longer and seems to work better than tylenol.
post #15 of 15
i hope your son is better now? It must be awful to have to watch him fit, you have all my sympathies.
I just wanted to add to the post by 2busy2clean and add a couple of other natural remedies that can reduce and combat a fever. Purple grae juice and especially black elderberries are full of antioxidants and will boost the immune system. You can take them if you are breast feeding but if not purple grape diluted 1 part juice to 5 parts water is fine for little ones (my son likes the taste so it's not hard to get him to drink it) and you can get a black elderberry supplement that is suitabe for young children. Both these things are good to take if you think a fever/cold/flu might be coming but they work throughout the whole time, before, during and after.
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